Why aren’t peanuts classified as nuts?

If a tasty bag of peanuts is one of your favorite go-to items for a healthier snack, take note: That’s actually not a nut you’re munching on. While they sport the “nut” name, peanuts are actually a legume, making them a member of the family of plant-based items that includes lentils, beans and soybeans.

True to the legume family, a peanut is composed of an edible seed that grows inside a pod. One reason you may not readily associate peanuts with those more familiar legumes is that you don’t eat the peanut’s dry and brittle pod, like you do with many legumes — the green bean, for instance.

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